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IHSA shuts out Herald photographers at state finals
By Aaron Gabriel | High School Sports Editor
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Published: 11/23/2007 9:04 PM | Updated: 11/25/2007 12:13 AM

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The Daily Herald's coverage of this weekend's football state championship games will be diminished as a result of the Illinois High School Association's decision to deny our organization's photographers access to the football field.

While our writers have been granted their customary access to Memorial Stadium, our staff photographer - as well as those from several other media outlets - have been denied the field access they have always been granted.

In order to show off the best of our students' athletic talents, the Daily Herald invites readers, parents and fans to send us their photos at news@dailyherald.com.

What is at issue in the IHSA dispute is whether photos from state tournament events can be sold by news organizations independent of their print edition. This is known as secondary use of photos.

The IHSA's policy is that secondary use of images from state tournament events is not permitted.

The Illinois Press Association, a journalism advocacy group of which the Daily Herald is a leading member, disagrees emphatically with that policy. The IPA filed a lawsuit against the IHSA and asked for a restraining order on Nov. 1 in an attempt to preserve secondary use of state tournament photos.

The restraining order was denied by Sangamon County judge Patrick Kelley, and the IPA decided Nov. 16 to withdraw its lawsuit.

Left unresolved, however, was the disagreement over secondary use of state tournament photos.

The IHSA says it notified the IPA in advance that media outlets in violation of its policy would not be permitted field access for this weekend's football championships.

The Daily Herald, however, received no such direct notification. And in other state tournament finals this fall, including the girls swimming state meet last weekend, the paper's normal access for photographers was permitted. So it came as a surprise that the Daily Herald would not be allowed field access for the football championship games.

While the final resolution of this matter may ultimately come from the courts, the Daily Herald has an obligation to report the state championships as completely as we can. So we will include photos from state tournament events in our print edition by whatever ethical means available.

That means you'll likely see images provided to us by the Associated Press, and quite possibly from fans of Driscoll, Lake Zurich, Glenbard North and Naperville North. Readers, feel free to send us your best shots to news@dailyherald.com.